I've been trying to make pizza dough from scratch for a while now, but I have real problems getting it to rise...

Sometimes it works fine and the dough is good, but sometimes it never rises and is edible in only the loosest sense of the word. I can't seem to find a rhyme or reason to it.


If the yeast isn't out of date then the most likely sounding culprit is the temperature of your water. It should be between 105-110. If it's too cool then you won't activate the yeast and if you get it too warm you'll start to kill it.

Another possible case can be when you're adding the salt. If it's going in before or at the same time as the sugar you will arrest the gas production and activity of the yeast.

Get the yeast, sugar, water mixture going first and create a shaggy dough with your flour. Add the salt as you're starting to bring the dough together so that it doesn't act too quickly to arrest the yeast development.

If you keep your flour in the freezer or refrigerator, make sure it has come to room temperature before adding it to the water or the chill of the flour will de-activate the yeast.

  • Thanks, thats good information. I think it may be the flour in the fridge that's getting me: We sometimes keep it in the fridge and sometimes don't. – schulz Aug 23 '10 at 20:08
  • you should also check and see if you are using instant yeast, active dry yeast takes blooming/proofing before it is useable and is less effective generally even if still in date. – sarge_smith Aug 23 '10 at 22:21
  • that is 41-43 Celsius – flamingpenguin Nov 12 '10 at 14:37

If you're unsure about how fresh your yeast is, test it:

Mix 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm water. It should foam after 10 minutes if it's still good.

If you're using Active Dry Yeast (ADY), it will need to be proofed first in warm water (100-110F). Sugar is not necessary to activate the yeast.

Instant Dry Yeast (IDY) or Bread machine yeast doesn't need to be proofed.

It's best to be as consistent as possible, so I recommend using an instant read thermometer to make sure you're water is in the right temperature range. If you live in a place where temperature varies quite a bit from day to day or season to season, this could also affect how long your dough needs to rise.

Let your flour come to room temp before using it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.